Baton Rouge area has high demand for skilled craft, health care workers: BRAC / The Times Picayune

The Baton Rouge area has a high demand for skilled craft, health care and professional services workers, a recent Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) report shows.

As the region faces groundbreaking economic growth, leaders have long mentioned the need for talent and workforce development to fill an unprecedented amount of jobs.

BRAC’s report, prepared by its economic competitiveness team, shows the biggest need for new talent lies in those three main trades, all of which BRAC claims are high-wage jobs in high-growth industries.

“It’s important to understand where the new jobs are, as well as their requirements. Many of the new jobs coming online require an associate’s degree or less,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC.

The report shows in 2015, economic development projects assisted by BRAC have announced 1,463 new jobs in the region so far. This comes after the region surpassed a 400,000 total non-farm job all-time high. That equates to 6,600 new jobs that have been added to the area over the last 12 months.

In response to those growing industries, degree programs have changed and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is now to providing new workforce training solutions.

In addition to those in-demand industries, the BRAC report gives a list of training and education institutions that prepare students for high-demand fields; the measures taken to address the area’s workforce issues; and best practices for addressing Baton Rouge’s regional workforce issues.

The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) will release a companion report soon which aims to identify the barriers existing for training people in the growing fields.

“Collectively, the two reports shine a light on the current state of affairs of the regional workforce and offer specific recommendations to improve educational and employment opportunities to ensure that citizens are prepared to take advantage of economic opportunities,” Knapp said.

View the full report here.

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